New research by Internet Matters discovered that just over half of year 6 pupils own a smartphone – and 2 in 5 will get a new phone before term starts.
How many pupils have phones?
France says ‘non’ to phones at school
While schools and local areas in the UK make their own rules, in France the government has brought in a ban for the whole country.
All children up to the age of 15 will now have to keep their phone out of sight while on school grounds.
The French government argues that the ban will improve concentration in class, while helping to prevent cyberbullying.
What do parents and kids here think?
59% of parents don’t think children should be able to have phones in school. But lots of parents do like to be able to keep in touch, especially when their children are becoming more independent, and are travelling to and from school.
The same research found that children’s biggest concerns about phones at school were –
- Devices getting lost or stolen
- Being able to stay in touch with old friends from primary
- Having the ‘right’ brand of phone
Would a ban here be a good idea?
Some people think that banning phones at school would help pupils to focus on learning, and also give young people a ‘tech break’ – time when they’re not being messaged or distracted, and don’t feel pressure to be constantly connected. A ban would also mean there would be less risk of phones getting lost, damaged or stolen, and people who don’t have phones wouldn’t feel left out.
On the other hand, lots of pupils like being able to stay in touch with parents and friends – and phones can be good for emergencies, like getting lost. Some teachers also use phones in lessons – for pupils to research online, take pictures or create videos.
What do you think?
More information from our partners
Internet Matters have asked the experts whether banning smartphones in school improves children's development, and they also offer a back-to-school internet safety guide for parents.
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